At the Concluding Concert of the Chorus Review at the Tampere Vocal Music Festival, the jury awarded diplomas with three gold stamps to two choirs: the Kipinät mixed choir from Jyväskylä, Finland (conductor Kaisa Halmemies) and Queens of Qoro Quando, a women’s choir from Vantaa, Finland (conductor Emma Kuntsi).

Kipinät © Maarit Kytöharju
Queens of Qoro Quando © Maarit Kytöharju

“The level of quality in the Chorus Review was a delight. It was particularly pleasing that the standard was so high on average. This is a trend that has been going on for some time. Another positive trend is that there are so many more women’s choirs and that they are so much better than before. The range of choir types and styles is broader, and even the choreography and movements seemed better motivated and more closely integrated with the music than has sometimes been the case. My foreign colleagues noted that the Finnish conductors were very good and that conductor training in Finland is in very good shape,” said Kari Turunen, chairman of the jury.

The jury members in addition to Turunen were Saara Aittakumpu (Finland), Volker Hempfling (Germany), Carsten Seyer-Hansen (Denmark) and Jennifer Tham (Singapore). The two choirs that were awarded three gold stamps each received a prize of EUR 1500.

Two gold stamps and EUR 1000 were awarded to five choirs: A Cappella Chor Tulln (Tulln, Austria; cond. Gottfried Zawichowski), Candomino (Espoo, Finland, cond. Esko Kallio), Cassiopeia (Oulu, Finland, cond. Kristian Heberg), Qoro Quando (Vantaa, Finland, cond. Jori Männistö) and the Turku University Choir (Turku, Finland, cond. Elisa Huovinen). The jury also awarded two conductor prizes of EUR 1000 each to Kaisa Halmemies and Lukáš Holec (Medvíďata Children’s Choir, Medvíďata Youth Choir, Český Krumlov, Czech Republic).

A diploma with one gold stamp was awarded to 14 choirs. Beyond that, 28 choirs received a diploma with silver stamps and five choirs received a diploma with bronze stamps. Also, all choirs participating in the Chorus Review will receive written feedback from the jury. In all, there were 47 choirs from seven countries in the Chorus Review.

The Tampere Vocal Music Festival ended with the Concluding Concert of the Chorus Review on Sunday. The number of people attending the festival, including free concerts, is estimated to have been more than 30,000. The artistic director of the festival was singer Tuukka Haapaniemi.

The next Tampere Vocal Music Festival will be held from 9 to 13 June 2021. The artistic director of the next festival is Michael McGlynn from Ireland, composer and the founder and director of the Anúna choir and the M’anam vocal ensemble.

“I am deeply honoured to be asked to take on this role. My visits to Tampere over the years have inspired me in so many ways and I am very much looking forward to building on the work of my predecessors to develop further this most wonderful Festival,”says McGlynn.

Michael McGlynn © Maarit Kytöharju

Prizes in brief: 3 gold stamps (EUR 1500): Kipinät, Queens of Qoro Quando; 2 gold stamps (EUR 1000): A Cappella Chor Tulln, Candomino, Cassiopeia, Qoro Quando, Turku University Choir; conductor prize (EUR 1000): Kaisa Halmemies, Lukáš Holec